The pilgrimage to the apple orchard means it’s truly fall in Minnesota. And this year I discovered a gem of an orchard. Meet Sweetland Orchard.
Located in Webster, crazy close to my home turf, this family-owned orchard is quaint, picture-perfect, down-to-earth and home to not only apples but also Minnesota’s latest crush – hard cider. With chickens skirting through the parking lot, friendly hellos the minute you pull in and Fletcher, the family dog, dropping his stick at your feet and wagging his tail, it’s hard not to feel like your visiting family or friends.
Owned by Mike and Gretchen, where the orchard is their backyard and operations a true family affair, I love that they are focused on growing good things to eat and drink….and that is exactly what they do. From their infamous cider donuts to their apple turnovers. From their apple varieties to their hard ciders. There is so much good stuff that you have no problem following the age old adage of “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”…Sweetland Orchard style.
With local craft cider catching on, Mike and Gretchen seem to be ahead of the local curve as their ciders which started with the Scrumpy Original can now be found in area liquor stores as well as 16+ bars and restaurants around the Cities. I actually first tasted the Cherry Rhubarb Scrumpy at the Ball Park Cafe at the MN State Fair this year and I was instantly a fan!
Fun fact:: Scrumpy means locally produced, small-batch ciders.
Not only can you get a cider tasting while visiting the orchard, Mike also gives cidery tours for an awesome behind-the-scenes look – and an even greater appreciation for how they get their scrumpy on.